Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I be going sometime soon. But, one of my favorite bands is about to play and I hope entertain you. I will be chekcing in from time to time and perhaps leaving little goodiesalong the way. See you soon -- enjoy the music!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Jeffery John and Jay Haug

I have spent the day trying to "tie into" the Jeffery John issue. There is a great deal being written about it -- that is, whether or not he will be elected Bishop of Southwark and what that might do to the Church of England. There is a "ton of stuff" being written and a bunch of speculation on Dr. John's approval, non-approval, maybe approval, maybe not approval, ad infinitum. While there may be something there I cannot quite get into it but -- look what I found along the way.

In a guest editorial on Virtue Online I found an editorial about the possible appointment of Jeffery John by a person named Jay Haug. Buried in that editorial was the following comment:
It's somewhat like the far-left anti-war crowd who told us we should be fighting in Afghanistan rather than in Iraq. However, when we finally took the war to Afghanistan, they didn't want to fight there either. Conclusion: the war the far left wants to fight is never the one we are fighting now.

Well, as a combat veteran of Vietnam and a citizen concerned with the loss of life in both Iraq and Afghanistan I got curious real fast. Well, turns out Mr. Haug is not a very private person, a self proclaimed "leader of the troops of the vast right wing conspiracy". So, I took a closer look. It appears that Mr. Haug was in college during the Vietnam conflict and continued to enjoy his education from 1969 through 1977 -- well beyond the end of the Vietnam Conflict. Now, I could be flat out wrong but let me simply say the following, as I have said this before.

In war, men and women lose their lives. Our military personnel are prepared to commit the ultimate sacrifice based upon the needs and demands of the government and our leaders. This is a tremendous responsibility for anyone. So, what does the former president, George W. Bush decide? He decided to, in my opinion, sacrifice lives for the sake of his own personal agenda-- namely, getting even with Saddam Husein for trying to assassinate his father. An Air National Guardsman during the Vietnam War decided that the sacrifice of men and women's lives was "worth it".

But let's hit Afghanistan head on. When the then president sated that he wanted to kill or capture the person responsible for the Twin Towers I agreed with him. Not because the cause was just, but because when we say we are going to do something, we do it. Now, with our current president, we have expanded that role from simply getting the guy to "stabilizing the government" or some such nonsense. Well, I fought in Vietnam and the reasoning that sustained our efforts in Vietnam sound like the reasons sustaining our effort in Afghanistan, and that is just nuts! Apparently we learned nothing more from 1975 until now than how to mask our efforts.

I am not a sure what Mr. Haug wanted to say about anything else but he sure lost me with that quote. I am hopeful that he has been to war and that he has experienced the loss of friends and colleagues. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that no one gets to commit troops to armed conflict unless they have had that experience. It is impossible to fully understand and genuinely appreciate the loss any other way.

Of course I am a combat veteran of Vietnam and my ideas, much like John Kerry's, are to be discredited.

San Joaquin Faces A Media Challenge -- Everyday and Everyway

It is time for the rest of the world to see how the Episcopal Diocese is treated by our local newspaper, the Modesto Bee. (By the way, we get the same treatment in the Fresno Bee). It ain't very pretty but it is typical of John David Schofield's 25 years of misinformation. The writer (I will not use the term journalist) is Sue Nowicki. She has been with the Bee for many years. She used to work the education beat and her research was no better then than now..

Anglican battle in Stanislaus County got very personal this week when the Episcopal faction filed a lawsuit against St. Francis Anglican Church in Turlock.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Stanislaus County Superior Court by the Rev. Jerry Lamb, bishop of the Modesto-based Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. It names the Rev. Gerald "Gerry" Grossman and nine members of the church's vestry, or ruling body, as well as the St. Francis parish as defendants.

It got personal? Lawsuits are generally personal anyway but keep in mind the Episcopal Diocese has not sued a single soul for anything (not one thin dime) other than the property they took with them when they left the Episcopal Church.

St. Francis is the first parish in the diocese to face an individual lawsuit in the dispute that has split Episcopal churches across the country, largely over Scriptural interpretation, such as whether Jesus is the only way to salvation and if homosexuals should be ordained.

Lazy reporting. It is not the "only" reason they left. Surely she could not spend the time to look at the "power grabs" not only in the San Joaquin diocese but in virtually every diocese that has left.

"The diocese has never given us money," Grossman said. "The national church has never given us anything. Why do they think they have a right to this property?"

Well now deposed Father Grossman ought to take a look at the lawsuit. That should give him a pretty good idea of why he and his vestry is being sued.. Softball pitch. Why did she not return the question to Father Grossman?

No monetary damages are mentioned. Instead, the lawsuit seeks "to return control of the parish premises and other parish assets to the plaintiffs in the matter."

See, here the clever wording is "no monetary damages mentioned" when in fact there are none sought. Why such a big deal? Because these folks have taken property that does not belong to them and the Episcopal Diocese COULD ask for monetary damages from not only the rector but each and every vestry person! That would send a VERY interesting message to me. Of course for Ms. Nowicki, it is just a quick comment.

"I received a 'courtesy call' from (Episcopal attorney Michael) Glass on Monday," Grossman said Thursday. "He said, 'We're going to do our best to keep this out of the press because it could be embarrassing to both sides.' "

Instead, Lamb sent out a news release Wednesday, announcing a "new round of litigation."

My best guess is Father Grossman got this one confused. How in the world, with everything that has gone on before was this, in his wildest imagination, going to be kept out of the papers? In my more sanguine moments, I think this was a misrepresentation of the telephone call between Father Grosssman and Mr. Glass.

The reason the Turlock parish was targeted is complicated by church and legal rules, but it boils down to this:

The diocese to which it is loyal — led by Bishop John-David Schofield — was the first in the country to leave the national Episcopal Church in December 2007 and align itself with the larger worldwide Anglican Church.

One quick comment -- the inflammatory "targeted" word. Why do you suppose Ms. Nowicki used that word?

In the wake of the split, the Episcopal Church installed Lamb as its bishop over a parallel diocese. He has been charged with recovering the property — parishes and Fresno's diocesan headquarters — under Schofield's control.

Here again, despite the fact that Bishop Lamb is by Episcopal Church constitution and canons and verified by the courts thus far, is the real Bishop over the real diocese of San Joaquin. Ms. Nowicki, not the parallel diocese, the Episcopal diocese of San Joaquin. Former bishop John David Schofield has absconded with property that properly belongs to that diocese and the courts have ruled that Mr. Schofield is not the true bishop.

Within the 40 parishes loyal to Schofield are 10 that are incorporated — they own their property and are not owned by the diocese. So while most parishes are included in a lawsuit filed in 2008 against Schofield, the incorporated property must be handled individually.

In this case, Lamb said, the first lawsuit was filed against St. Francis because it is the closest parish to Modesto.

St. Paul's of Modesto was another incorporated parish that left the Episcopal Church. More than 90 percent of that congregation walked away from its $2 million-plus property on Oakdale Road last June and meets as Wellspring Anglican Church in a rented facility in downtown Modesto.

Lamb never filed a lawsuit against St. Paul's, which faced different legal challenges because it had left both the national church and the original diocese, aligning itself with another Anglican group.

Ms. Nowicki did no background research otherwise she would have asked the vestry(?) of St. Paul's why they did not fight the issue? They did not fight the issue because their vestry took a look at the issues and knew they were going to lose so simply met with Bishop Lamb and rather amicably (well, sort of) recognized the real owner of the property.

Grossman arrived at St. Francis in May 2008, said that unlike St. Paul's, his congregation isn't considering handing over its property, valued at $1 million at the beginning of 2009.

"We feed homeless children in this neighborhood. We're on a mission in this community. Our sign says, 'Lives Change Here,' and that's what we're about," he said Thursday morning, sitting in the sanctuary built in 1948 that features wooden pews and stunning stained glass windows picturing the life of Christ. "We're about God's business here in this town."

What about the 20-plus St. Francis members who Lamb claims were "forced out" by the split and now meet in another church's property?

They weren't forced out, Grossman said.

"They left this parish before the diocese left the Episcopal Church," Grossman said. "We have the letters to prove it. They resigned from the corporation."

But, he said, he has no hard feelings toward the departed members, and in fact said he gave them an altar table they wanted, loaned them other items and had coffee with their priest, the Rev. Kathryn Galicia.

Well, here again she did no research on the history. The last rector was forced out by John David Schofield and then JDS installed a deposed priest that caused many families to leave. Tell me, as an Episcopalian, would you receive the sacraments from a deposed priest? Yet, Ms. Nowicki makes no mention of any of that.

"What bothers me is we're churches," he said. "The money (spent in lawsuits) is better spent feeding the homeless, serving the community.

"To me, this is the worst-case scenario: If this property were taken over and they don't have the number of people to support this, it will be sold and two congregations will be out of a church."

Ms. Nowicki misses the obvious question at this point -- Father Grosssman, why don't you return the property to the rightful owner and not spend the church's money?

National officials won't say how much money has been spent nationwide on the 50-plus lawsuits filed by the Episcopal Church to recover property. Lamb said he doesn't know even how much has been spent locally.

He did say his diocese contributed about $70,000 to $80,000, which was raised by individuals and parishes loyal to the national church. The rest of the legal costs have been paid by the national church, he said.

Grossman said he doesn't have any idea what it will cost to defend the church against the lawsuit. But, he added, he has been told the Anglican diocesan attorneys will represent them.

Ms. Nowicki makes Bishop Lamb sound dumb for only being able to estimate the current legal costs while Father Grossman gets off scotfree with a "the diocese will take care of us" comment. If you were being sued for everything you own, would you not KNOW who was going to defend your rights? But Ms. Nowicki let that comment slide right by.

"What's next for us as a parish is to continue on — to make the main thing the main thing," he said. "This isn't going to distract us from the mission of this parish: to work in the community and to see changed lives because of Jesus Christ.

"This isn't about real estate. It's about doing what's right."

Wow! Softball served up belt high and ripe for a swing from the heels and by golly Ms. Nowicki let that one go right by her! Let me help Ms. Nowicki, "What makes you think, Father Grossman, you are right and Bishop Lamb is wrong? St. Paul's vestry took a look and decided just the opposite.

Once again, we, Episcopalians in the Diocese of San Joaquin Valley/Diocese, are forced to put up with shoddy journalism at best and flagrant disregard for the facts at worst. This adds tremendously to the uphill battle we face not only in recovering our property but in attracting new members to our parishes. While it would be too much to ask for a writer to perform the necessary research and write an unbiased article at least Ms. Nowicki could treat both parties with the same distain.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

How to Cook A Lobster - San Joaquin Style

The average Episcopalian is beginning to wonder what in the heck is going on with it's Anglican Communion. First, there are forced removals from some of the world wide committees that are part of the outreach of the Anglican Communion and now there is talk of several Archbishops removing themselves from the Anglican Communion Standing Committee.

Well, let's go back to the Jerusalem Declaration. The fun-loving Reverend (now deposed) Bill Gandenberger had a hand in the creation of this document (according to his own statements). Buried in this document is a little line that says
“While acknowledging the nature of Canterbury as an historic see, we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

Interestingly enough, one now has to look very hard to find this statement. If you go to the GAFCON website and look up the Jerusalem Declaration, this statement is no longer there. Why, because the leaders of the Conelonialists are using this document as a blueprint and they are slowly, inexorably, creating their own "Anglican Communion". Whether you know it or not, whether you realize it or not, whether you you want it or not, members of ACNA, including our own John David and his minions, will become the next Anglican Communion without any relationship to the Anglican Church. You will most likely have an African Archbishop as a the new "Archbishop of not-Canterbury" and you will respond to this person as you would respond to the pope.

Just so there is no confusion, I would suggest you speak directly with now deposed Mr. John David Schofield about this turn of events. Oh, but he will tell you just what he told you years ago, "I am not leaving the Episcopal Church" except now he will say, "I am not leaving the Anglican Communion". Hope you remember those words.

So what are all the comings and goings about? Well, nothing my dear sheep, it is about nothing. Please continue to read your 1662 prayer book, please keep sending your money to South America, please keep your women out of the clergy and safely locked away in the kitchen. Soon, this will be all over. Remember when John David Schofield said that for years he had been protecting his "flock" from the evils that were outside the borders of the Diocese of San Joaquin? Well, he has not given up his protecting of you. Just a little while longer and it will all be over, my little prettys. How do you cook a lobster? Well, put the lobster in a pan of cold water and slowly turn up the heat. "Dinner" is not far away now, I like drawn butter with my lobster.